Andalusia is a passion - and fifteen years after his last visit Laurie Lee returned. He found a country broken by the Civil War, but the totems of indestructible Spain survive: the Christ in agony, the thrilling flamenco cry-the pride in poverty, the gypsy intensity in vivid whitewashed slums, the cult of the bullfight, the exultation in death, the humour of hopelessness-the paradoxes deep in the fiery bones of Spain. Rich with kaleidoscopic images, A Rose for Winter is as sensual and evocative as the sun-scorched landscape of Andalusia itself.
"He has a nightingale inside him, a capacity for sensuous, lyrical precision"
"One of the great writers of the last century whose work conjured up a world of earthly warmth and beauty"
"Out of a winter in Southern Spain, Mr Lee has spun a magnificent book, outstanding even in a field where the competition is oppressively brilliant'"
Cider with Rosie is a wonderfully vivid memoir of childhood in a remote Cotswold village, a village before electricity or cars, a timeless place on the verge of change. Read on for an extract.
It might not be snowing yet, and you may have to work until the 24th, but you can still get into the festive spirit with our selection of favourite Christmas reads.